Monday, 15 August 2011

Walking up the glade...

The weekend has gone again...but we had a wonderful one. I hope you did too? On Saturday, Paul & I drove over to buy a few bits & pieces to finish the makeover of our attic room. My beloved sister, Esther, & her children are arriving a month today for a visit...I can barely contain the excitement which bubbles in my stomach - I feel like I used to the night before my birthday as a child! They are mainly staying at the farm with Mum & Dad but will be spending a few nights here too...and they'll be in the attic room so it has to be perfect! I have a post waiting until it's finished...I took 'before' pictures...so as soon as I have the 'afters' you can see it!
I spent yesterday afternoon at the farm, as Paul had to work & Alice was exhausted after her long morning run. My youngest sister, Lucy & her partner David were there too, along with my youngest nephew Will. William is only 3, but he is absolutely golf mad and frighteningly good at it! It doesn't interest me at all usually...but it's amazing to watch this little blond boy spending (literally) hours whacking golf balls around. He hits them perfectly every time and knows all the right names for the various clubs! Lucy can't bear golf either, so all the enthusiasm is coming from him...and he has plenty of it!
It  was a beautiful afternoon, so I left them all to it and took a walk in the mellow golden sunshine - I thought you might like to come along?

I left my tea mug on the fence post so I wouldn't forget it...


In the 1930's, the farm was owned by a famous gardener called Percy Cane...and he planted what we now call The Glade. It's really a wide, grassy promenade bordering the Home Paddock....edged with many beautiful species of tree...maples, azaleas, rhododendrons, magnolias, lilacs...

Certain areas are purposely left wild...Dad is a great naturalist and this is a beautiful way to encourage the wildlife to share the space. It's a riot of bluebells here in Spring...but as you can see right now it's mainly grasses and the heady pink of the Rose Bay Willowherb...which is rapidly turning into what we call Old Man's Beard (you can see why!) All along the edges of the glade are little burial spots....here lie all the cats & dogs that have died in the 30 years we've owned the farm...even the ones who lived with us girls after we left home. They all come back to rest here, in this calm & peaceful shady place...I love to think of them as I walk...
Most lived long and happy lives...Sasha, Ruby, Winnie, my darling Poppet, sweet Sadie, feisty little Widget, Papagena....but some went far too soon...Buster, Ben, Teazel, Myrtle, Suki and Esther's beloved Staffy Funky...all lie under the trees where they used to love to play & run. I can almost see their little ghosts around me...

Near the top are Dad's hosta beds....huge and magnificent. He doesn't have the trouble with slugs & snails that I do here in town...due, we think, to the hedghogs & badgers that live in these woods...

At the very end of the glade is a pond, built after we moved here and now taken over by huge bullrushes...it's a wonderful place to stop and take a few breaths and admire the scenery...



Although it's only August, the hedgerows and trees are full of fruit & nuts already...

rowan berries...

hazelnuts...

walnuts...

acorns..

apples..and my favourites..


the glorious purple blue damsons.
Lucy & I managed to prise William away from his clubs for a while and we went off on a picking spree for my preserves this week...
we came back after only a short time with quite an impressive haul!

I've already extracted the juice from the damsons to make jelly...and I plan to make Victoria Plum Jam and Apple Thyme Jelly too later.
We  are so lucky to have grown up in such a place, and to be able to share it now with our children. I can't wait until Esther's three are running around on the wide lawns and laughing with their little cousin...not long now!
Have a happy week xo

16 comments:

  1. Your glade looks beautiful! I'd enjoy a walk there anytime. Look at all that glorious fruit! Enjoy your preparations for you sister and her family!

    Mary

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  2. Wow what a phenomenal place. It's like a huge park. It all seems so magical and I got more sentimental than is usual for me seeing the resting place of all your darling pets. No wonder you're so wonderful being surrounded by all that love and magic.

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  3. Dear Rachel, that looks like an absolutely magical place and I was so happy to come with you on that little walk! I wish I had all that fruit in MY kitchen... Hope you are doing well!! Love, Silke

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  4. Oh my Racheal...what a lovely walk! Love the resting spot for all your pets! Just amazing!! I love...love...love this blog!!

    Blessings...
    xoxo Gert

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  5. Dear Rachel,

    You must be over the moon with excitement, anticipating the arrival of Esther and the children! I can't wait to see the before and after pictures of your attic. Very soon, you will all be together again!
    I loved taking a walk with you around the farm. It is absolutely gorgeous. I liked seeing the burial spots for all the precious pets your family has kept throughout the years. It looks like a very special place, this farm, filled with love,tranquility, and many sweet surprises! Thanks for sharing it with us! xoxo

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  6. Good morning, Rachel! Your family's farm is so heavenly!! Full of the bounty of the earth right now and what a wonderful place for the children to grow in also!!! I know you will make it all so special for Esther and her family!! Anticipation is half the fun. I know what it is like to have family far away...Sending love, Sherry xoxo

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  7. Rachel,
    The farm is even more beautiful than I had imagined; how wonderful that you were able to have such a place to grow up in and to be able to come back to now....that does not exist much anymore; people always on the move, families breaking apart. People don't think of all of that....the future and how it affects everyone for generations. This is absolutely lovely.....I so wish I could sample the jelly you're preparing from such incredible fresh fruit from the farm....I'll dream of it!!
    xoxo Joann

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  8. This seems to have been a lovely weekend. Great post and lovely pictures. I love harvest, and picking apples, fruits and what have you, and you got me in the mood to do this. I used to go and pick small strawberries ("fraises des champs" as we called them) with my babysitter, around William's age. And of course we had blueberries, the fruit of my region.

    Oh, and that Old Man Beard reminds me of the Ents in Lord of the Rings, or the Treant of or Dungeons & Dragons games.

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  9. Rachel what a beautiful post. Damsons are so lucious, that color.
    What a comfort to have a place for the family's beloved pets, it warms my heart as did this heartfelt sharing of such a perfect place......
    xx
    julie

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  10. hi rachel...i loved it all...but YOU now what REALLY got ME !!! that beautiful, calm quiet and most peaceful burial site...what a beautiful place to rest in peace...

    i enjoyed the walk with you, my friend

    sending love,
    kary and teddy
    xx

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  11. Do you still have the horses and the chickens? Can you show them in the barn, the Christmas decorations? I LOVED this Ray, remember walking through this magical place with your mom and dad. THANK YOU for taking us with you....did you remember to pick up your cup? xoxo

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  12. I'll be counting the days with you till Esther's visit and I can't wait to see pictures of the attic room. I can just feel how excited you are!

    What a blessing to have such a place as your family farm. I grew up in the middle of nature and feel a little cut off from it where I'm living now. Sometimes I yearn to be in a spot like yours. Well, with your pictures and descriptions I can dream :) xoxo

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  13. Beautiful garden photos! And Percy Cane; what a fabulous name, isn't it?? I hope you're having fun with your sister- that is so exciting. And please do post before & after photos of the attic; so much fun to renovate! :)
    Have a lovely month with your family.

    xoxo, Blair

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  14. Hi dear Rachel,

    My one regret about our visit with you is that we didn't get a chance to visit your mom and dad.

    The walk was wonderful and rich.

    I am SO HAPPY for you about Esther's visit. You'll be in heaven, and ensconced in the attic they'll be nearer heaven.

    Sending love to you,

    Sharon

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  15. Rachel, this is a truly brilliant post. I feel like I'm there. Have a great time with your sister and family. Speak soon. x

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  16. oh hi rachel...i was visiting some favorite places and you were on my list....

    hugs to you and alice

    sending love,

    kary and teddy from california
    xx

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